I’m a journal girl. I love picking one with a cute design or an inspiring scripture verse on the front. I find it refreshing to open up a new journal to the first blank page. Ah, I just love the process of putting pen to paper on that first page. I know you’re probably thinking that since I’m a writer (and I struggle to type that title and take myself seriously), of course I should love that process.
But here’s the thing: that feeling lasts for a few weeks and then I get bored with my new journal. I still find it cute and I want to write in it, I really do. But then I begin to struggle with devoting the time to actually write–pen to paper–in my new, cute journal. That journal then makes it into the pile of other journals I have failed at. Not such a cool thing for a writer to confess, huh?
One day as I looked at my barely written in (but still cute) journal, I realized that I do this very same thing with my dreams.
I get so pumped when I think about what God has laid on my heart to do, the plans He has for me, and where those dreams will eventually lead. Then when things aren’t happening quickly enough, I get discouraged and think what’s the point?
Today I want to talk about what happens when you feel like you’re standing still in your dreams. I want to talk about the process of dreaming that might just be the hardest part of it all. The part that we don’t like to talk that much about because we all want to pretend like we never get stuck. Like we never don’t know the next step. The part when we can’t quite figure out what God is doing and why it’s taking so long.
Maybe it’s easier if I begin with a piece of my own story. I realized about four years ago that God called me into women’s ministry. For me that looked like working with teen girls and women of all ages, helping them realize their worth according to God. I started a blog, began writing consistently, and had hope in my heart that God would turn all that into a platform for me to be able to speak to women as a writer, speaker, and leader.
I seemed to be charting the course as expected when my husband and I had our first daughter. I struggled to balance being a wife, mother, employee, and working in ministry. I couldn’t keep up with my writing schedule and my blog really suffered. I took on leadership positions within my church, taking more time away from the bigger dream I thought God had called me to.
Fast-forward a few years and I sit here anxiously expecting the arrival of our second daughter any day now. I still struggle very much with trying to balance it all. Except for writing for More to Be, I haven’t written anything in almost a year. Yes, I’m a writer who doesn’t write.
I felt like a failure at first. Shouldn’t I be able to balance my calling and motherhood? Write? Run a household and a blog?
Shouldn’t I be able to do it all?
No. I can’t. And friend, neither can you.
It’s amazing what the Lord has been showing me over the past year about where my obedience to Him really lies. While my big dreams may be on hold for now, that doesn’t mean God isn’t still working on me and through me.
If you feel like you’re in a similar place today, be encouraged that God is still working through you.
He’s helping you cultivate your dreams, even in what can seem like the smallest of ways.
While I do still believe in my heart that God has called me to reach a larger platform of women someday, I know that right now my time needs to be focused on the women around me who need encouragement and leadership: my daughters, my family, the women in my church.
It’s okay to stand still in your dreams.
It’s okay to feel like you don’t know the next step to take.
It’s even okay to question God and ask what He wants from you in the present.
Because standing still in your dreams doesn’t mean you aren’t still dreaming. It doesn’t mean God has forgotten your dream or you. It could mean there is purpose in your present place. It could mean God is laying on your heart a new dream. Or as I believe in my case, He’s teaching me and preparing me for the bigger stuff, because I’m not ready for a larger task right now.
I need to prove that I can be obedient with the small things before I’m entrusted with the larger things.
Our world wants us to constantly go for the next best thing, which isn’t always a bad thing. But often times we leave out the beautiful process of being able to stand still and rest–to take in what God is doing in us in the present.
Do you feel like you’re standing still in your dreams today?
What is God trying to show you in the present?
What smaller dreams is God calling you to in order to prepare you for the bigger ones?